A new partnership involving an NFL vet aims to help black Hoosiers get jobs in tech

INDIANAPOLIS – A movement is now underway to add 41,000 new tech workers in Indiana by 2030 to help employers find, attract and retain talent.

Launch Mission41K has caught the attention of former NFL player and current resident of Indiana, Emil Ekiyor.

“When I retired, one of the things I took away was how well this industry developed talent,” Ekiyor said.

Ekiyor played for the Raiders and Falcons during his six-year career. He is now the CEO and founder of Innopower Inc. which focuses on accelerating economic productivity in black communities.

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Credit: Nicole Griffin

Emil Ekiyor, CEO and founder of Innopower Inc.

“So the whole model of the NFL is based on getting talent from the poorest black communities in our country, every young black kid from those communities feels like if they work hard and believe in themselves, they can make it to the NFL and they” are willing to do whatever it takes to do so.”

Ekiyor believes the same model can be replicated in fast-growing industries such as technology.

“But what is the way to do it? What is the play? How does it happen?” Ekiyor said.

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Credit: Nicole Griffin

Dennis Trinkle and Emil Ekiyor discuss their new partnership with WRTV’s Nicole Griffin.

After attending Launch Mission 41K, Ekiyor developed a new partnership with TechPoint to help answer that question. In December, they hold a Design Thinking Summit in Indianapolis, Ft. Wayne and Gary.

  • Dec. 6 in Indianapolis at Eastern Star Church at 5750 30th St.
  • Dec. 7 in Gary at the Best Buy Teen Tech Center at the John Will Anderson Gary Boys & Girls Club
  • Dec. 15 in Fort Wayne at Job Works at 7230 Engle Rd., Ste 213

“How does your community fit into this? What resources are available? Or what resources do you need? What obstacles do you face? What ideas do you have?” Ekiyor said.

WRTV first reported on TechPoint’s Launch Mission 41K initiative in September. One of the main goals is to encourage employers to adopt skills-based hiring rather than requiring degrees.

“If we want to differentiate Indiana from other states, we just have to have a strong talent pipeline,” said Dennis Trinkle, executive director of talent at Techpoint.


Credit: TechPoint

The move will not only help employers, but TechPoint believes it will diversify technology.

“If you look at the workforce as a whole, about 10% of the workforce is people of color, but only about 6% right now is in the tech workforce,” Trinkle said. “It’s churning out an awful lot of black talent who have the skills to do these jobs, who are interested and don’t even get a look because they don’t have the right degree or credentials on their resume.”

Trinkle and Ekiyor agree that there is much work to be done in the coming years.

“The ultimate goal is to look back in 2030 and say that because we did these things today, we can get more of our black and brown Hoosiers into high-paying, high-paying jobs in our city,” Ekiyor said. . . .

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